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Cartrefle College, Wrexham

Volume 934: debated on Tuesday 28 June 1977

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14.

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if, in her final proposals for teacher training, she will confirm that teacher training will continue at Cartrefle College, Wrexham.

The planning of teacher training in Wales gives rise to complex issues, to which my right hon. Friend and I have been giving very careful attention. We hope to announce our decisions shortly.

Is the Minister aware of the grave consternation caused to the staff of this college and the local education authority following persistent rumours that the Minister and his Department will revise their earlier proposal as a result of pressures elsewhere in Wales? Will he give the House an assurance that, whatever his final decision about the future of the college, it will not be the product of the pressures to which I have referred?

I assure the hon. Gentleman that it will not be the result of pressure. I must examine all the colleges of higher education in Wales, as in England, before announcing our decisions. I promise that we shall make an announcement before the recess.

Is my hon. Friend aware that I am deeply grateful to the hon. Member for Conway (Mr. Roberts) for the solicitude he is showing in the matter of Cartrefle College in my constituency, although it is regrettable that he did not see fit to tell me that he was tabling a Question on the subject? Is my hon. Friend also aware that I am grateful to him for the protracted negotiations which I have had with him, both orally and in correspondence, and will he further agree to meet a delegation from the college led by me if decisions are made which may possibly jeopardise the future of the college?

I am very much aware of the solicitous way in which my hon. Friend the Member for Wrexham (Mr. Ellis) has been concerned with this matter. I promise him that I shall meet him and representatives from the college should it be necessary to do so, but it may not be necessary.